WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Roquette America Faces Hefty Fine

Keokuk, IA – Roquette America faces a $1-million civil environmental penalty. The penalty stems from a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, Feb. 16 by Attorney General Tom Miller on behalf of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The lawsuit alleges that multiple air pollution violations have taken place at Roquette America's corn wet milling facility.

The lawsuit says Roquette America exceeded emission limitations under existing permits for particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds.

It also says the company failed to implement require "best available control technology" and obtain a permit when it made major plant modifications that increased air pollution emissions from several natural gas dryers.

Roquette America must pay the penalty, implement an environmental management information system, and replace the building that caused the excess emissions. Miller says the $1-million civil penalty equals the largest such issue ever paid in Iowa.

"This is a major penalty for significant air pollution violations," says Miller, adding "we believe Roquette America is now committed to taking the steps necessary to insure compliance and reduce air pollution emissions."

The penalty was assessed as part of a Consent Order, Judgment and Decree agreed-to by the State and Roquette America. It was approved by Lee County District Court Judge Mary Ann Brown.

Roquette America is prohibited from further violations. The company is subject to penalties of up to $10,000/day per violation if it fails to comply with the order.

President/CEO Dominic Taret says this closure moves the company forward in improving our environmental performance and sustainability.